I fancied myself a cake-decorating master for all of two hours, with visions of fluffy white cakes and frosting galore. Earlier this month I attended a cake decorating class run by the lovely Lianne Cheng. The class was a one-time test run which, for me and five others, lasted from 2pm to 4pm on a Saturday afternoon at the Crib.
The class, though originally advertised as a cake decorating course, actually included more than simply icing. Students also had the opportunity to experience baking cupcakes, cakes, and make the frosting that would later be used to decorate the desserts.
Upon arrival, Lianne supplied us with written materials that listed all the ingredients and instructions for everything we would be making. The recipes that we would be making were lemon cupcakes, black chocolate cake, Swiss buttercream, and cream cheese frosting. We started first with the lemon cupcakes. Under Lianne’s tutelage, we were able to make roughly twelve cupcakes and bake an entire chocolate cake. The participation opportunities were balanced, with each person able to join in on the mechanics of the course including cracking eggs, measuring ingredients, and squeezing icing into piping bags.
Some of the most enjoyable parts of the class – measuring, mixing, and preparing to bake.
But the most enjoyable part was decorating and eating!
After class, I connected with Lianne to find out more about her courses and background. Lianne, a Beijinger for five years, does freelance work and plays ice hockey in the Beijing International Ice Hockey League (BIIHL) when she is not teaching classes. Though Lianne’s tutorials at the Crib will not be continuing on in the near future, she is open to providing customers with tailored, private courses. “I would love to do something like a full day tailored lesson, starting with taking people to the supermarket, showing them what to buy and then how to make a week’s worth of meals in one afternoon.”
Though the course I took with Lianne focused on baking, she is well versed in a wide variety of Western foods and desserts. The chef also wrote her own cookbook entitled Lianne’s Recipes, which includes a combination of sweet and savory recipes that the chef initially created for a community school fundraiser in Nepal. For more information on the cookbook or cooking tutorials, Lianne can be contacted via WeChat, phone, or email (as listed below). It’s sure to be a delectable experience.
Photos by Annie Wang